Affordable Japan

Old Dec 4th, 2014, 04:47 AM
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Affordable Japan

I was in Japan earlier this year for my 2-week vacation. I was surprised and very pleased at how affordable it was. I was in Tokyo and Tohoku. Except for Tokyo, I rarely spent more than $50.00 U.S. for a hotel room, and very clean and modern ones too. My daily food costs averaged about $30.00 U.S., but that was mostly eating ramen in train stations. Breakfast was included in hotel rates. Other daily expenses for cinema or museums were about $20.00 U.S. per day. Japan is an excellent value, and I'm already planning the next trip there.
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Old Dec 4th, 2014, 09:05 AM
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Great that your trip worked out - I remember your earlier questions. Did you make out okay without having hotel reservations in advance?

Any more details about your trip? Where did you go in Tohoku - I am planning a few days there next spring....

I agree that Japan travel is quite affordable.
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Old Dec 4th, 2014, 10:20 AM
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Was that $50 per hotel room or per person? It would be great to have the names of the hotels that you liked.

I am surprised that you spent only $20 per day for your activities. in my experience, cinema tickets have always been over $18 per ticket. We joke it is the most expensive way to entertain oneself in Japan.
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Old Dec 4th, 2014, 11:07 AM
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Yes, that was about $50.00 U.S. per hotel room for a single. I stayed at Toyoko Inn (www.toyoko-inn.com) and did make the reservations in advance on their website. I did get a membership for no cost (they take your pic and give you a card) which gave me a discount. You get a clean modern room with private bath with shower. There's also a small fridge and TV. The room is small however. Japanese-style breakfast is served and is included in the rate. The staff were super friendly also.

After Tokyo, I spent about a week in Tohoku. I took a 2-hour ride on JR Shinkansen from Tokyo station and arrived in Sendai, which was my base. Sendai is a beautiful city with tree-lined broad streets, great for walking.

My favorite day trip was to Matsushima Bay, which is about a 30-minute local train from Sendai. Matsushima Bay is really scenic with islands covered with pine trees and cliffs with walking paths.

Cheers.
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Old Dec 4th, 2014, 05:31 PM
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Thanks for the further info, takeaway7. I am planning to visit Matsushima next spring - it is the one of the three most scenic views in Japan and I've been to the other two - Miyajima and Amanohashidate.

I often stay at Toyoko Inns. They are always reliable for an inexpensive modern place with wifi (more and more) and free breakfast.

Did you go to Aizu or Hiraizumi?
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Old Dec 6th, 2014, 05:30 AM
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Hey Mara: Matsushima was really beautiful. After walking around one of the islands, I had a delicious lunch of grilled eel at a local restaurant. The nice lady in the tourist office told me that due to the formation of the bay, it did not suffer too much damage from tsunami in 2011, unliike nearby coastal areas.

I have not yet been to Aizu or Hiraizumi but they look like great places to visit. Thanks for the suggestions as I'm currently doing research.
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Old Dec 7th, 2014, 09:36 AM
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Great to hear you had a good trip.
We definitely found the reputation as an expensive destination was not deserved, particularly when it comes to food -- it's so easy to eat very well for not very much. We spent more on accommodation, but did mix in some Dormy Inn stays, and liked the chain a lot. I looked at Toyoko Inns, and would have been happy to book, but locations didn't happen to match our needs quite as well as Dormy for our two trip itineraries.
I'm hoping we'll be able to make a third trip either in 2015 or 2016.
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Old Jan 15th, 2015, 01:08 PM
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You were mostly eating ramen in train stations? It's bit sad. If you have a chance to go to Japan again, you can try Obentou(lunch box) or Onigori(rice ball) etc. We can buy it at convenience store, like 7eleven. It's cheap and taste is pretty good, too. There are sweets, too. If we go to restaurant and eat, it's expensive but convenience store is pretty good value
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Old Jan 15th, 2015, 01:45 PM
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Why would train station ramen be sad? It tastes good, it fills you up, and is very cheap. it is especially good if you had a huge dinner or breakfast earlier!

There's nothing wrong with bento or onigiri either, but they are no better than ramen...just different.
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Old Jan 17th, 2015, 03:02 AM
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Agreed, nothing sad at all about train station ramen, not sure why onigiri from a kombini would rate higher?
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Old Jan 17th, 2015, 09:39 AM
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One of my favorite things to do in Japan is stop in a combini! I love the snacks and ice cream treats.
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Old Jan 18th, 2015, 12:50 AM
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Seehag, I agree! My point was that pinkpeony seemed to be scorning the train station ramen but lauding the kombini onigiri. Couldn't see why kombini onigiri should rate more highly than train station ramen, other than personal preference. Both are fine and good options!
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Old Jan 18th, 2015, 11:44 AM
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I am good with any budget friendly options. Even a meal from a western fast food place usually has a different twist.
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Old Jan 19th, 2015, 12:23 PM
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Eating train station ramen made me happy not sad. I'm talking about the numerous ramen shops usually in basements or other areas of JR stations in Japanese cities. I'm really serious when I say I spent about $30.00 per day for food. Big bowls of ramen filled with noodles, broth, vegetables meat or chicken. I ate really well there! I did get some bento boxes and lunch specials. I also ate at the shops where you put in a yen coin from a machine, get a ticket and give to the chef for a steaming bowl of ramen.
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Old Jan 20th, 2015, 11:52 PM
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Takeaway, sounds fabulous to me!
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